I hope you have had a productive and interesting year – in both your writing and reading.
This is a random list of things that I have recommended to writers and others at one point or another. Perhaps you will find them useful in your work, and/or send me your own Best Bet for 2022/23.
- Bookseller: You might get the best financial deals when you go shopping at the ‘big boxes’. But building a relationship with your local independent is more beneficial to everyone. And don’t just go there when you have a book to ‘flog’ – shop there, too!
- Community: Creative Academy for Writers is an invaluable resource – it offers critique groups, motivation sessions, craft and planning workshops, books by Academy organizers and loads of other resources.
- Current list of Canadian publishers, compiled by the Canadian Authors Association.
- Critiquing tip: Whether you’re working with a single ‘buddy’ or in a group, the most useful critiquing is that which is text-based… point out examples in the MS of the craft element you are addressing, rather than just saying, “I loved that character,”, “I really like this,” “The plot doesn’t work for me…”
- Best book for helping with editing and revision of fiction: Manuscript Makeover: Editing Techniques No Writer Can Afford to Ignore by Elizabeth Lyon
- New to marketing your book? If you’re starting a website or social media page, to ensure ‘it’s not all about you’, try to post about others’ books or useful writing/publishing-related info in a ratio of about 1 post about you and your work to 1 about others. There’s an introductory handout you might find useful here.
- Word by Word newsletter: I distribute this a couple of times a year to readers, students and anyone else who would like to subscribe.
- Organizing your files: To avoid spending hours searching your computer files for ‘lost’ files, develop naming protocols – eg. m/y / Title / Draft #, ‘07.22 / One Way Only / #2’. And include it in the header or footer when you print it out as a reminder.
- Publishing Options: Jane Friedman’s Book Publishing Paths. Still the best resource
for anyone contemplating going their own way rather than the ‘traditional/mainstream’ route.
- Lists of useful websites: Writer’s Digest’s most recent list is here.
All the best in your writing efforts in 2023.
Send me your Best Bet, and if I add it here (attributed to you) I will include your name in a draw for a free five-page or 2500-word free critique.
For more writing tips and resources checks my Facebook page.